Swiss SMEs are quite interested in concluding a free trade agreement with the United States. Fifty-eight percent of respondents are in favor, more than those calling for the signing of the framework agreement with the EU (56%), according to Credit Suisse.
The interest in the US market is explained by the potential of the latter and by the fact that the United States is already Switzerland's second largest trading partner after the European Union (EU), explained Emilie Gachet. , co-author of the study, and Michael Willimann, head of the French-speaking Switzerland region at Credit Suisse and corporate clients in particular.
"There are no official discussions at this time between Switzerland and the United States, but exploratory talks," said Emilie Gachet. Swiss SMEs, open to the world with high value-added products, feel visibly more concerned by a potential opening up with the United States than by the free trade agreement with the Mercosur countries (South America) adopted the week passed by EFTA, which includes Switzerland and explicitly asked by a third of the Swiss companies surveyed.
The lesser exposure of SMEs in Latin America to the market potential of Uncle Sam's country may explain this gap.
"To win in the United States, you have to be very sharp and very fast in the services," warned Mr. Willimann. "Swiss SMEs – like their European counterparts – are expected to make further progress in this area: in the United States, when a customer calls you for a repair, for example, it is impossible to answer 'yes, ok, we'll be here tomorrow'. customer expects immediate intervention from you. "